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Top hotels in Rio de Janeiro

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A trip to Brazil’s poster-city can only be complete with the finest accommodation it has to offer

luxury / business / heritage

Hotel Copacabana Palace

Copacabana

The service and hospitality at this traditional swish Rio hotel is legendary. The hotel opened its doors in 1923. Ever since, it has been home to visiting celebrities and royalty. The fifth floor, in particular, caters to the discerning business traveller, while the opulent sixth has penthouses for the luxury-seeker. Both floors have private pools. The spa covers three floors, there is a magnificent roof-top tennis court, and for sun-seeking activity-lovers, beach volleyball is just a few steps away.

luxury / business / leisure

Royal Tulip Rio

Sao Conrado

Four hundred and eighteen luxury rooms tower 17 floors over the picturesque Sao Conrado Beach. Spacious balconies offer the best views of the fabled Rio coastline, including the Gavea Stone in the Tijuca forest. There is plenty here for business and leisure traveller alike; a beach with all its Rio-centric delights to romp on, along with two in-house tennis courts, a beauty salon, two restaurants and bars. The hotel will organise mountain-biking, boating, fine-dining and shopping, all geared to individual taste. This hotel hosted the English football team during the FIFA World Cup.

mid-range / business

JW Marriott Rio

Copacabana

The Marriott is located in a way that Rio unfurls all around you like a postcard. As you lounge by the rooftop pool, the Sugar Loaf Mountain and Corcovadao—with Christ’s open arms—are constant reminders of the city you are in. Even as Copacabana beach beckons just outside your door, you might be tempted to spend hours soaking up the spa experience, or sampling the menu at The Carioca, the in-house lounge bar.

mid-range / boutique

Quinta Azul Boutique Pousada

Santa Teresa

A little off the touristy, well-beaten path is Santa Teresa, famous for its nightlife and live music venues, and you could not pick a finer place to stay than the Quinta Azul Pousada. The hotel has just eight suites, with quaint touches like four-poster beds and sweeping verandas. The tasteful décor provides the calm you need amidst the hectic Rio lifestyle. Check out the Espirito Santa Restaurant next door, which serves authentic Amazonian food, including piranha.

luxury / boutique

Casa Mosquito

Ipanema

This converted colonial house from the 1940s is one of Rio’s finest and most tastefully exquisite boutique hotels, with each of its suites tucked away amidst wild profusions of tropical flowers. Each suite pays homage to famous Brazilians like artists Tom Jobim and Heitor Villa-Lobos. The views of Sugar Loaf Mountain and Tijuca Forest from your verandas are outstanding, and the ambient soundtrack is usually that of tropical birds trilling, or a snatch of a hymn from a nearby church. In a word: exquisite.